Paul Woodage from Battlebus tours in Normandy received an advance copy of "We Who Are Alive and Remain: untold stories from the Band of Brothers," (It's official release date is May 5), and posted a review on his forum at http://battlebus.19.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=211
As an author, it's really great when a book connects so strongly with readers. I hope this level of excitement about this project is a taste of what's to come. His is the first review that I know of about the book, so I wanted to share it here. I know this forum cares strongly about all the men featured in the book.
Below is the text to Paul's review: Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:46 am
Post subject: Book - We Who are Alive and Remian by Marcus Brotherton
As regulars of this forum know I have all the previous books on Easy Company 506th and many more titles about the 101st Airborne in my library. So I am pleased to be able to offer a review of this new book - officially for release in early May. I received an advance copy from Marcus on Saturday and had finished it by Sunday night. The book consisits of the recollections of 20 of the Easy Company veterans who were not featured heavily in the original Ambrose book. Some names are familiar from the TV series - Earl McClung, Shifty Powers, Frank Perconte and Herb "Junior" Suerth, but for most readers the majority of the other contributors will be new names - Al Mampre, Dewitt Lowrey, Don Bond and Ed Pepping for example. The book chronicles their lives from childhood up to the outbreak of WWII, their training in the USA and England and then through the campaigns of Normandy, Holland, Bastogne and Germany up to their later years as grandfathers and in some cases WWII "celebrities."
When you see this book advertised you may be wondering, do I really need another Band of Brothers book?
If you are a fan of veterans talking about their war service? Then the answer is a resounding YES
If you are a Band of Brothers fan? Then the answer is also a resounding, gold-plated, absolute definite YES
I am lucky because I have heard some of the anecdotes and tales within the book first hand from the veterans themselves, others were new to me, but all were enthralling. Marcus would be the first to admit he is not a WWII expert, nor a historian in most peoples understanding of the word. To me this actually benefits the book, because a historian would probably have only cherry-picked the anecdotes that he needed to flesh out his battle accounts. Here Marcus includes them all, from tales of combat and killing to pranks and high-jinks to their feelings about life in general.
Another great factor, and one I can personally verify is that he leaves the accounts exactly as spoken by the guys. The use of language is typical for each man - I could tell Earl McClung's accounts by his manner of talking before I saw his name written, the same for Forrest Guth and Bill Wingett. It's also a book you can dip in and out of, although I love reading sprawling battlefield narratives and following the campaign along on maps, I sometimes like to just pick up a book for 20 minutes and put it down again. With this book although I have read it from cover to cover I know I shall go back and read certain sections and stories again and again, it is easy to follow and contains an excellent index - a lesson other publishers should learn from! Yes I mean you Heimdal!!!
But I have saved the best for last, the three final chapters are by the children of three interesting and representative Easy Compan veterans no longer with us. Michael Sobel writes about his father and the negative impact of his father's portrayal in the TV series. Susan Finn writes passionately about her father, Burr Smith and George Luz Junior talks about Luz, who comes out in every veteran's list of best friends in the company. Let me say I would have paid the cover price, heck even double the cover price for these three chapters alone. If Susan's, Michael's and George's accounts don't leave you moist in the eye, then frankly you have a heart of stone.
I urge you all to buy this book, and as you do so visit Marcus's blog and leave a comment, tell him you will buy the book and where you saw it reviewed!